Coronavirus and Acme's Response

All Acme Showrooms Are Now Open

Updated 5-22-2020 - 8:00 a.m. CT

As of Thursday, May 21, all Acme Brick Tile & Stone showrooms are open to the public. Many of these locations are encouraging customers to visit by appointment and may be restricting the amount of customers into the showroom.

If you are wanting to come to our showroom, we encourage you to call ahead of time. And if you drive up to a location, you will see a phone number posted on the door. Please call that number to access an Acme Brick associate to serve you.

All locations currently require customers to wear masks while in the showroom. If you don't have a mask, one will be provided for you.

Other local guidelines may apply - and of course, our operating procedures are subject to change as the coronavirus situation develops. For details, please refer to the location's page here on brick.com, or simply call your local location.

We are glad to welcome you back, and we are ready to serve you - safely.

Showroom Update

Updated 5-4-2020 11:55 a.m. CT
As of Monday, May 4, selected Acme showrooms are reopening to the public where regulations and local market conditions allow.
Hours and protocols will vary from location to location. Here are some guidelines that are we observing as we reopen:
  • All customers (including children) entering our showrooms will be provided and required to wear a mask. 
  • Locations may limit the number of customers who can be in the showroom at a time.
  • All Acme associates in the showroom will be provided and required to wear a mask when customers are present. 
  • Restrooms will remain closed to the public for now.
  • We are keeping our showroom clean, but please don't touch product samples.
  • Some locations may offer curbside pickup of products at the back customer counter.

Before You Visit

Please check with your local sales location for the most current hours and procedures. Reopening is a process that is subject to change as we all adjust.

Always at Your Service

Our sales operations have operated continually throughout this time, to serve customers by phone and online - with prompt, attentive, and safe service.
Thank you for your patience and for your business.

Protecting Yourself from Scams

Updated 4-13-2020 11:40 a.m. CT

A wave of scams/opportunistic cyber threats has arisen to take advantage of the ongoing pandemic. Attackers are employing several mechanisms to profit from this global crisis: phone calls (including robocalls), emails, text messages, fake and phishing websites, malicious ads on reputable sites, and fake apps. Be wary of any solicitation for personal and/or financial information related to COVID-19. These scams/attacks vary greatly in content and sophistication. Some may even be specific to a region or town.

Commonly observed topics

  • Promises of remedies or cures for COVID-19 or free at-home testing kits
    Note: There is currently no cure for COVID-19 or FDA-approved at-home testing kits.
  • Alleged messages from the CDC, WHO, or random medical experts offering medical advice
    Note: The CDC & WHO will not contact you directly. Do not communicate with anyone attempting to sell medical advice.
  • Corporate emails regarding new telework policies
    Note: Because attackers may be spoofing your company’s domain, contact your manager and/or IT to verify an email’s authenticity before opening it.
  • “Expediting” of checks or loans from the $2 trillion stimulus package
    Note: Those eligible for stimulus funds will receive either a direct deposit or a check in the mail.
  • Stimulus checks in return for completing the 2020 Census questionnaire
    Note: Eligibility for stimulus funds is not contingent on 2020 Census questionnaire completion.
  • Unsolicited online payment of fines for violating shelter-in-place orders
    Note: Local law enforcement will clearly inform you of penalties and how to pay fines if any are assessed.
  • COVID-19 maps for a fee
    Note: Info about COVID-19 cases in your area is available at no cost from a variety of trusted sources.

Other observed topics include: COVID-19 related tax refunds, promises of free or inexpensive supplies and food in exchange for personal financial information, apps that claim to help protect you from COVID-19, alleged work-from-home opportunities, COVID-19 loan consolidation programs, IT scams (taking advantage of teleworkers), and wire fraud or gift card scams at work from alleged ‘senior management.’

What to do

Simply ignoring unknown callers, messages, and emails will protect you from most threats. Close all suspicious websites that attempt to elicit personal and/or payment information. Rely on reputable online sources for purchasing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE.) If you receive communication from someone you know but something is suspicious about the message, contact the sender using a different mode of communication to verify he/she sent the message. Stay vigilant and remain informed about the pandemic.

Use only trusted sources for the most accurate information about COVID-19:


Acme's Workplace Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

Updated 4-6-2020 9:11 a.m. CT

Based on what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). Transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community or workplace settings.

Definitions

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs. But by removing the germs, it decreases their number and therefore any risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. But killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces any risk of spreading infection.
  • Viruses are microorganisms that are smaller than bacteria and cannot grow or reproduce apart from a living host cell (animal, human, plant, or bacteria). They invade a living cell and use the host cell’s chemical machinery to stay alive and replicate themselves. Viruses may be spread through the air, by contact with contaminated surfaces, and by exchange of body fluids. Viruses are responsible for the common cold (rhinoviruses), intestinal and respiratory flu (noroviruses), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and influenza A subtype H1N1 (swine flu). Viruses do not respond to antibiotics, which makes them more difficult to control.
  • Germs is a collective name for microscopic organisms, and includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and some parasites.

Cleaning

  • Focus on high touch surfaces such as kitchen counters, door knobs, electronic devices and phones, conference/breakroom tables, bathroom surfaces and the like.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. For a disinfectant to be effective at killing germs, all dirt, debris, and organic matter must first be removed from the surface so that the disinfectant can come into contact with the germs and be absorbed.
  • High-quality microfiber cloths and mop heads serve several roles in preparing a surface to be disinfected. In addition to soaking up moisture and removing the nutrients that germs need to survive, high-quality microfiber with dense fibers can remove germs and bacterial spores.
  • Note that thoroughly cleaning a surface can reduce the need to disinfect because without the nutrients and moisture needed to survive and multiply, most germs cannot live on a clean and dry surface for very long.

Disinfection

  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
  • Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.
  • Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
  • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hand Hygiene

  • Cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves and gowns, if needed, for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.
  • Gloves and gowns should be compatible with the disinfectant products being used.
  • Additional PPE might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
  • Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Be sure to clean hands after removing gloves.
  • Cleaning staff and others should clean hands often, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
  • Follow normal preventive actions while at work and home, including cleaning hands and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Cleaning and Disinfection After Persons Suspected/Confirmed to Have COVID-19 Have Been in the Facility

The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The results provide key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, and suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects.

If we have an associate at one of our facilities that tests positive for COVID-19 virus, the workspace and common areas of the location where the associate worked will be cleaned and disinfected before others are allowed to enter that workspace. If, for some reason, a thorough cleaning is not possible, no one will be allowed to enter that workspace for a minimum of 3 days (72 hours) after the affected associate was last in that area.

  • It is recommended to close off areas used by the ill persons and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. If possible, wait up to 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
  • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/disinfecting-building-facility.html
  2. https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/OHB/WRAPP/CDPH%20Document%20Library/CleanSchoolsHandbook.pdf

Why We Work

Update 3-30-2020 2:45 p.m. CT

Two days ago, on March 28, a federal agency called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a set of guidelines for state and local officials to help them safeguard our nation’s “Essential Critical Infrastructure.” According to CISA, “workers performing housing construction related activities” are considered essential. So are workers engaged in institutional construction.

This is what we do every day.

Our business is important to the U.S. economy. The products and services we provide are important to our customers as they work to deliver the homes and buildings Americans need. And certainly the jobs that we provide are important to thousands of Acme families.

We will survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Our associates continue to do their jobs safely and conscientiously, knowing that they what they do is not just important but essential - to families, to communities, to the construction industry, and to our economy. And next month, we will celebrate our company’s 129th birthday.

We will continue to keep you updated as to the many developments that surround our business.

Dennis D. Knautz, President and CEO
Dennis Knautz
President & CEO
Acme Brick Company


To Our Customers

Updated 3-24-2020 9:00 a.m. CT

Many state, county, and local authorities have ordered residents to "stay-in-place," restricting them to "essential activities" and work at "essential businesses." As of this morning, we are not aware of any order that would restrict, let alone close, any of Acme’s sales, distribution, or our production facilities. Of course, that could change later, so we urge you to check with us frequently for updates.

At this time, we continue to do our best to maintain safe and sanitized work areas, practice social distancing, and work-from-home as much as possible in order to provide a safe and healthy work area for our associates and our customers.

While our showrooms remain closed to the public, our contractor desks are open for business.

If you are a customer who needs to get an order filled, please consider texting/emailing/phoning your order in advance to your sales rep or our office, so that we can have our teams prepare your order for delivery/pickup as efficiently as possible.

It is important to note that, collectively, we serve an important cause. Many government agencies have defined construction as an “essential business”! We thank you for trusting us to be an integral element in that process.

Thank you for your business – and for your patience.

Dennis Knautz
President & CEO
Acme Brick Company

 

Our Response

Updated 3-17-2020 2:15 p.m. CT

The health & safety of our associates and our customers has always been one of our top priorities.  As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has progressed, our efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy has intensified. 

To date, we have looked to the CDC, state, and local agencies for guidance and direction; regularly shared best practices with all of our associates; informed them of proper hygiene practices; urged associates to remain home if they feel ill; and scheduled regular, deeper cleaning of our facilities.

Now, efforts to increase social distancing dictates further changes.  While we feel it is important to keep our sales and distribution facilities open for business in order to continue providing you with industry-leading customer service, some changes must occur.

Therefore, effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 (and until further notice), we will be closing our sales showrooms to the public.  Our contractor counters will remain open to process orders and arrange for product pick-ups, but there will be special distancing rules that will vary by location.  We will continue to accept customers’ calls during normal business hours and continue to provide you with the service and information that you expect. Please call our local sales office or your sales rep for further assistance.

At this point, all of our brick and block plants are operating at planned rates and our delivery fleet is operating as expected.

It is our plan to post updates on our website at brick.com/coronavirus and through our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. We hope to return to normal operations as soon as possible. For now, we are doing our best to follow the lead of the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local authorities.

Dennis D. Knautz, President and CEO
Dennis Knautz
President & CEO
Acme Brick Company